Sunday, May 29, 2011

20 week sonogram

The day before yesterday, Friday, May 27th, I had my 20 week sonogram. If you're somewhat behind on my posts, I'm pregnant with twins, and thus far I am with a midwife group. But, my 20 week sonogram was with a different office, sonographer, and doctor.

Here's baby A. Baby A is closest to the exit. A girl. Didn't really want to show us her face most of the time. Baby A, at this time is also the bigger of the twins, at 1 pound.

Baby B is a boy. As of Friday, he's 13 ounces.


Both babies are very active. Sonographer had trouble measuring either child, because they both kept moving. Constantly.

Each has her and his own yolk sac. Each has her and his own placenta. Both are doing well.

Cervical length is respectable - 4.5 cm. Not in any danger, at this time, of going into premature labor.

Heard from the doc that latest research findings show that the risk of uterine rupture for a VBAC with multiples versus a VBAC with a singleton isn't really greater. Pretty good chances for me, since I've had a successful VBAC already. Just depends on the OB, in terms of what conditions the doc has for willingness to do a VBAC.

Got to run. Some kids need tending.


Gender(s) Reveal Party

Yesterday was a glorious gender reveal party. Not that such a party is a long-standing tradition, but I certainly did not play by the rules. For instance, I didn't wait until the party to find out the gender(s) of the twins.

Nearly 20 women and a couple hands full of children showed up. Pretty good turn out, especially since I didn't decide until the week before to do this. Wanted to get together with friends and figured this was as good an excuse as any to do so.

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I also didn't go by my original thought of revealing the gender(s) of the twins via the inside coloring of the cake (e.g. pink or blue). Target wanted 48 hours advanced notice before the cake was needed, I wanted to add a layer of strawberries or blueberries to reveal gender instead of simply adding food coloring (a Target employee said the store couldn't do such a thing), and I didn't feel gifted enough to bake an elaborate cake. So, I decided to reveal the gender(s) of the babies some other way. For such an occasion, I thought cupcakes would still be a good idea, and Victoria and Isabella had very definite ideas what flavors they wanted. Victoria was adamant about having red cupcakes; red velvet, it was. Isabella wanted white; French Vanilla I would make. I wanted to make a third flavor (should a mommy-to-be have a say, too?) - chocolate. However, by the time the 48 cupcakes were cooling off in my kitchen, I little energy left to make yet another couple dozen of cupcakes. And my girls were getting restless and crazy.

I know a lot of moms that are health conscious and sugar intake is an important consideration for them. I, too, am not crazy about giving my kids lots of sugar - via juice, much of the flavored milk that's out there, yogurt, etc. So, having icing on cupcakes wasn't the most appealing idea to me. Plus having sticky, sticky fingers and faces to clean. Well, need this tired, tired pregnant lady say more?

French vanilla (the white ones) cupcakes and red velvet (red) cupcakes. Decorate your own. My friend, Joyce, put out whipping cream and sprinkles. And, fruit - such as strawberries and blueberries - were provided.

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I had a guest book for people to sign and scrapbook paper on which people wrote their gender guesses. In the little yellow party favor boxes were party favors that would reveal the gender(s) of the children. I didn't put those on display until everyone had a chance to guess the gender(s) and get food to eat. Everyone brought finger food to share - crackers, fruit, vegetables, cookies, etc. - so much so that we stuffed ourselves silly, and plenty of food was still left over.



Some of my guests. Others ran around too fast or left before I could capture photographs of them.

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Abirami (aka Abby), who became my best friend in the 4th grade, flew up from Houston to visit for the weekend. I was and am overjoyed we were able to catch up and she was able to participate in (and help organize) this gender reveal party. Also am very sad she's going home today.

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I kicked myself for taking only blurry pictures of Isabella with her teacher at Isabella's graduation from preschool. The graduation pictures were taken indoors, without a flash. Stupid kaput flash on my camera. Anyways, here's another take of Isabella with her teacher.

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And Isabella's teacher with Victoria.

She's a great teacher, person, and friend.


And last, but not least, my friend Lindsey.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Isabella's preschool graduation

I qualify this post with the fact I still feel it a bit odd that we're holding graduations for preschool and kindergartners. Used to be high school, college, and graduate school. But at various points in grade school? A bit much.

That being said, seeing my baby, my first born graduate this morning. . . I was so proud. She was so joyous, and once she spotted me, Isabella kept wanting me to join her. Whether on stage or what not.

Honey, only classmates and teachers are up on stage. I'll be with you very soon.

See how content Isabella is?

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Taken before going inside, to get ready with her teachers and classmates for graduation. Isabella is definitely growing up.

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This one, my younger girl, towards the end of the graduation program was fed up with everything. Throughout the program, she made crystal clear she wanted to be on stage with her big sister. Wanted to stand by her side, dance alongside her, sing with her. She did not want to be in the crowd, a part of the audience; it didn't matter that there were other little children in the audience.
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There she is, the little preschool graduate.

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Getting her diploma from her teacher.

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Isabella with her teacher and the teacher's aid, both lovely, patient, kind, wonderful people and teachers.

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Her expression well captures how proud I am of her.

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As if what Isabella's preschool did for their students weren't already splendid and thoughtful enough, we received keepsakes to take home. Some persons painstakingly went to the effort of creating a personalized binder for each graduate to take home.

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That is what I call over-the-top thoughtfulness. Melts my heart. Thank you, Busy Bee.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Easy, pleasy

Yesterday, we spent time on the playground where other children and parents happened to be out, too. First warm and sunny day, after several days of raining (and one day that included hail). Some days, my energy is nonexistent. Nonexistent, I tell you. I rethink whether to take the kiddos out, because taking them out necessarily involves rounding them back in and convincing them to go home.

Instead of conquering and running wild, this little one, my younger child who turned three this past Monday, clung close to me and constantly foraged for whatever food I brought. And cleaned out the house, she did. Wasn't satisfied even after everything had been eaten. Glad she's recovering from the stomach bug with a vengeance.

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Then one of the families playing had a huge bag of rocks, those colorful pieces of glass that people use for floral arrangements and what not, and the girls were super excited. Their imagination ran wild.

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The rocks became money, food, and innumerable other things. In fact, each girls stowed away a rock to take home, and we were already at the car before I noticed. Thankfully the owners of the yellowish glass rocks didn't mind.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

MOMS

As far back as I can remember, I never quite fit into a group or a niche. My friends came and come from different walks of life, spanning different ages, perspectives, and such. Perhaps that's just part and parcel for the life of an artist or musician.

Since becoming a mother, I've heard of a broad range of mommy support groups, ranging from MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers) to various MOMS (moms offering moms support) groups. Again the feeling of misfit or not belonging sank in rather quickly. I don't like sitting around talking about diapers, food intake, growth markers, and other comparative topics ALL the time. Philosophy, religion or spirituality, the arts, music, counseling are some of the many other topics I like to discuss.

But, given that I will be a mother of four children, ages five and under, in the fall; I've decided I'm in over my head. I could use as much support as possible. How do I breastfeed two babies, for example? How in the world do I get sleep, when I have a brood to tend? How do I juggle the needs of my older children with the needs of two newborns? I need help looking forward. So, today, I took the giant step of officially becoming a member of MOMS - Mothers of Multiples Society - for a year. I'm giving it a try; that's all I can promise.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gender reveal parties

I don't know whether I'm way behind in the times or this is just one of those things that hasn't been acceptable by the Emily Posts in society, but have you guys heard of gender reveal parties? I received my first exposure to those words only a few weeks ago. Upon first hearing those words, I wondered, who are we talking about? Not even a moment later, my mind snapped to the babies in utero.

A gender reveal party is a supposed to be a fun way to gather friends and family together and spring the news upon the parents-to-be as well as guest attendees, whether friends or family. Supposedly, the sonographer places the piece of information revealing the gender of the unborn child into an envelope, and a loved one (close friend, family member) arranges for a baker to make a cake with the inside of the cake colored to reveal the gender of the baby. At the party, people can guess what the baby's gender might be, before the cake is cut. Once the cake is cut, the surprise is revealed to everyone.

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I must say, before I found out what those gender reveal parties are about, I was suspect. Another advertising ploy to get people to spend loads of money? Another way friends and family have to dish out money? A lot of hoo ha?

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In the last few days, well alright today, I've been toying around with having one of those parties. For nearly one reason alone: I miss getting together with my girlfriends. I don't want to come up with some clandestine ploy to get more gifts. Frankly, I covet and miss spending time with my friends. I was thinking, if anything, a low key gathering at a coffee shop or something. Can people get their own drinks? Perhaps a small cake, with the necessary information contained within. What do you think?

Friday, May 13, 2011

"Spontaneous" pregnancy and little babies growing

I'm just over 18 weeks in my pregnancy. Unbelievable, if you ask me. Nearly half way done, and it has just begun (so it seems).

Tuesday of this week, May 10th, I went to my midwife appointment. Steadily gaining weight. At a faster rate than a singleton pregnancy. And the length of my uterus also matches that of a multiple pregnancy, with the end of the uterus (fundus) being well ABOVE my belly button. The length of uterus: TWENTY-THREE INCHES.

My reaction to where my uterus ends and the length of my uterus: er, um, er, where are the rest of my organs sitting or staying? My babies are crowding out my internal organs!!! I still need to breathe, little ones; please?

I'm thinking there's quite a bit of buzz and excitement in this midwifery group when I show up for my check ups. According to the welcome pack they gave me when I first came, very few ultrasounds are done, especially in the first half of pregnancy. Don't expect much in the way of ultrasounds, the information said.

For some reason or another, can't hear the hearts beating via doppler or something else, I've had ultrasounds done at every visit. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. Pretty flattering, I guess. But, carrying multiples, in my mind, is a bit more stressful, considering possible complications - greater likelihood of maternal problems whilst pregnant, babies growing at different rates, how delivery will take place, etc. I chose this midwifery group for many reasons, including: being treated more like a normal person and less like a diseased person in pregnancy and desiring another VBAC. A VBAC was a very high possibility until we found out I'm expecting twins. Not certain the OB the midwives work with is willing to do a VBAC with twins. Frankly, I'm discouraged, upset, frustrated, and not understanding. . .

My 20 week ultrasound is two weeks from today. My obstetrician consultation is the following week, after the 20 week ultrasound. Frankly, if the obstetrician isn't willing to try a VBAC, I may be looking elsewhere. Even though I am loving the midwifery group. . .

By the way, I found out this past Tuesday, exactly what the midwives have meant when referring to this multiples pregnancy of mine as "spontaneous." Initially, my thought was, how was my pregnancy with twins definitively by accident? Could have had some genetic influence. The spontaneity is in reference to the absence of the use of any fertility treatments of any kind. For better or worse, no fertility treatments needed here. Just so you know.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

"But I am a mother"

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This morning, the girls and I drove to the post office to drop a couple of cards in the mail for the mothers in Troy and my life. My older child, Isabella, asked about the meaning of Mother's Day. In attempt to create an age appropriate explanation for my 4 1/2 year old and my nearly 3 years old children, I told them it's a day we give special attention to mothers for working so hard to take care of us. We oftentimes give cards and perhaps gifts.

Isabella's response was that she's a mom.

I told her that she's not a mom, yet. Perhaps some day.

Isabella: "But I am a mom."

Really?

Isabella: I am Henry's mom.

Wow. Well, um, I guess, that's sort of, kind of true. I guess.

Looking out for others

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The one whose face you see in the photograph is the older child in the family; in awhile she'll be the oldest (of four) in the family. My sister came for a visit from California recently; been awhile since we've spent time with each other's kids. She commented that Isabella seems to look after everyone else. The night before last, Isabella fashioned guns out of MegaBloks and made one for each person, child and adult alike. Don't know whether that's an Adlerian birth order thing (she's the oldest sibling), or that's just part of her personality.